The ETIAS will undergo a detailed security check of each applicant to determine whether they can be allowed to enter any Schengen Zone country. Since citizens of countries who do not need a visa for travel purposes of up to 90 days in the EU do not need to go through a long process of applying for the visa, the ETIAS will make sure that these people are not a security threat. This travel authorization system will gather, keep track of, and update necessary information regarding visitors to determine whether it is safe for them to enter Schengen countries.
According to the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), ETIAS is an important first step in the “digitalization of travel.” The end goal is the use of biometric technology – think fingerprints and facial recognition – to help provide the ultimate in security. The European Union (EU) agency driving this digital initiative is eu-LISA, the European Agency for the Operational Management of Large Scale IT Systems. It’s the very first EU agency established for the sole purpose of border and migration policies. Since it began operations in 2012, eu-LISA has been moving toward an all-digital, interoperable system so every key EU agency can get critical information to people on the front lines, such as border control and police.
ETIAS, the European Travel Information System, provides qualifying visitors a visa waiver when traveling to the Schengen Area, a group of European countries that have agreed upon who can visit and how long they can stay. The Schengen Area was created by the European Union, or EU, in the spirit of harmonious and free travel between borders and has grown to 26 countries – most are in the EU but some are not. Given the influx of international travelers to the Schengen Area, more comprehensive security checks have had to be put in place. ETIAS, much like ESTA in the United States, will create centralized data on who is visiting and why, providing enhanced security for all.
ETIAS is an online system that runs a comprehensive security check on applicants to make border crossings easier and travel safer. Just one small error – even a misspelling – can delay approval or even cause denial of your entry into a participating ETIAS country. You must apply for ETIAS in advance of your trip. The approval process can take up to four days, but most applications are approved immediately.
Europe is an extraordinary travel destination, here are a few attractions you can visit. The Emperor Maximilian I, who reigned in the late 1400s and early 1500s, made Innsbruck the main residence, the seat of the Hapsburg government and a focal point of Europe. His palace, the Hofburg, was remodeled by Empress Maria Theresa in 18th-century Baroque and Rococo style. Highlights of a tour are the sumptuous royal apartments, the marble Giant Hall (Riesensaal), and the painted ceilings throughout. The highlight of the Hofkirche, or Court Church, is the spectacular Tomb of Emperor Maximilian I, who died in 1519. Widely considered the finest work of German Renaissance sculpture, the monument’s central feature is the massive black marble sarcophagus with a bronze figure of the Emperor. On the sides of the sarcophagus are 24 marble reliefs depicting events in the Emperor’s life, and around it stand 28 larger-than-life-size bronze statues of the Emperor’s ancestors and contemporaries (look out for King Arthur). Other pieces of sculpture include 23 bronze statues of saints from the Habsburg family and 20 bronze busts of Roman emperors. Another landmark of Hapsburg Innsbruck is the Goldenes Dachl, or Golden Roof, in the Old Town. This ornate residence is known for its magnificent Late Gothic oriel window, roofed with gilded tiles and now a museum of Innsbruck history.
Do I need ETIAS if I have a Schengen Visa? No, if you have a Schengen Visa, then you will not need an ETIAS authorization. You can present your visa to the border authorities when you enter the Schengen Zone countries. When your visa expires, you can apply for the ETIAS if you are eligible. See more info on ETIAS.